Ok… We are lousy bloggers. But! It’s a new year and with new years come new year’s resolutions, so there! That’s my new year’s resolution. To become a better blogger! I feel better already…
Let’s see… what all has happened in the last month and a half. I think we had wrapped up the last post at the tail end of our amazing stay at the Sunshine Coast. It was such a nice way for Britt and Beck to unwind from the travel and it was awesome for all of us to get to experience the Aussie beaches first-hand together. We reluctantly said our “goodbyes” to the beach and packed up the car and headed for Sunny Toowoomba as the locals call it.
There are several routes from the coast back to T-town, some are more appealing than others as we would soon find out. We opted for the most straight-forward path and it wasn’t too long until the coastal scenery began to turn into heavily treed rolling hills, massive farms, and “fruit and veg” stands that would make any 50-something stop on a dime. It’s funny… In my mind I had already started to worry that Britt might be “underwhelmed” considering her first exposure to Australia was the beautiful coast. As it turns out I had nothing to worry about and honestly I had forgotten myself just how amazing the drive up the “Range” truly was. As you are driving in to Toowoomba there is an uphill climb that cuts back and forth through a mountain side. It’s awesome! Once you crest the top of the mountain you are straight into the “Garden City”. This is Toowoomba’s claim to fame here in Queensland. Many of the streets are completely tree lined and canopied over the top by vivid blooms of purples and reds. It’s a great first impression. Britt was stunned, and although I had only been living here for a few weeks I actually felt proud of our little town in the mountains.
So we made it over the first hurdle.. getting the family back to Toowoomba. The second hurdle was rapidly approaching and would prove to be a bit tougher. When we were at the coast I told Britt that the temporary place in Toowoomba was “a little cozier” than what she was used to. Those that know me best might say this comment would be a red-flag of sorts… 🙂 I can’t help it, I try to sugar coat things. Now back to that imminent hurdle. We get to the apartment and begin to unpack and get settled in… I’m paying close
attention to Britt during this time and, to her credit, she was trying to be very positive about the place. I chalked this up to jet-lag and what I call “new-country syndrome”. We pretty much went right into to ‘regular life’ mode at this point with me going back to work the next day, trips to the market, buying groceries and making meals, etc, etc. It really wasn’t all that bad for a short stay, for two people, without a little one. By the end of the first week we realized that this was a difficult situation. I had already been looking for homes and even put in an application that I expected to be approved shortly after B&B had arrived. Unfortunately that didn’t work out. So at that point we both went full force into house hunting mode and thought that in no time we would soon be living in a place of our own right here in Toowoomba Australia! We were wrong.
If there is one complaint I have about the way things work here this is it… Well, this and the ridiculous amount of space that one is given to park his or her car. Anyway, the process is extremely difficult. If you want to even consider putting an offer on a place that is for rent you must do the following things:
1. Fill out a unique multi-page application for each member of the household and send it to the agent for approval. We’re talking 100 points of ID by Passport, Previous Utility Bills, International References that THEY ACTUALLY CHECKED!! Who does that??? (Thank you to all of our friends and family of whom they contacted – your actions may have saved lives!!!)
2. Schedule a viewing of the house BUT you must first drive by it in person and look at it before you can schedule a viewing. Most of the time they wait until there are 4-6 people who would like to see it and they then schedule an all-at-once viewing which makes you feel like you are in a battle royale with a bunch of other similarly desperate folks that want the place as much as you do. And to top it off the market here in Toowoomba is currently one of the most aggressive housing markets in Australia.
3. Once you have seen a house and you like it, you then make an “offer” on what you are willing to pay per week for the house. They do have an asking price, but apparently people will offer more to increase their odds of getting the place. It’s like a secret-auction with a dash of bribery and the offers are first come first serve. Also! You are not dealing with the property owner. You deal with an agent that has no idea who the owner is! OMGWTFBBQ!!!!
You can understand that this process is mind crushingly painful… especially when you go home every day to a wife and son that are bursting at the seams. So we went through around 6 or 8 unsuccessful viewings/applications/rage inducing offers and finally got to the point where we were literally out of options. We had been notifying our current land-lords week-to-week on how long we would be there, in the meantime they got an offer for a 10 week stay on our apartment and they accepted it… we were to be out by Monday and it was Wednesday. Boom. We had seen two “units” on that same Wednesday and put offers on both. I called the agency and explained the situation something to the affect of “Hi, I’m a desperate American trying to find a place to live while simultaneously trying to avoid assassination attempts from my wife, we’ll be kicked out of our place on Monday and will then come to live in your parking lot. By the way, my son is 15 months old and poops a lot”. They accepted our offer on Friday.
Oh what a relief it is!! It’s the little things in life you know… we went from a 5 Bed 2 Bath home with a massive yard, a pool, and a park, and, and, and you know what? This smallish 3/2 unit was the most wonderful place we’d ever stepped foot in!! It’s called perspective people, check it out. Two hurdles cleared! Marriage intact! Beck is dancing everyday! In the epic words (err… word) of Charlie Sheen I’d say we were “winning”.
We really like our new place! We have a nice little yard and patio, and we can watch the sun set in the evenings. There’s a lesson or two in here somewhere.. There will always be ups and downs and seemingly insurmountable obstacles, but they all wash out in the end and if you look hard enough you’ll see the things that really matter. That brings us back full circle to the title of this post. “She’ll be right” is a phrase the Aussie’s use to basically say; No worries, it’ll all work out.